Insuring your first car

Car accidentAs most of you are aware, insuring your first car can be very expensive. While it might be tempting to give false information when applying for insurance, it’s important you are as accurate as possible. This includes not doing anything illegal such as ”fronting”, where false information is given about who the main driver of the vehicle will be. Parents might think they’re helping out, but the reality is that in the event of a claim, anyone guilty of fronting will be considered uninsured.

However, one legal way of reducing the cost is to insure through a telematics insurer.

Telematics

Traditionally, insurance companies base premium prices on factors such as the vehicle's insurance group, the age of the driver, their experience and history on the road. These factors also play a part in telematics, but rather than relying on general assumptions about young drivers, telematics insurers use electronically gathered data to calculate, and recalculate, the quote based on a drivers specific driving skills and habits. This data is captured by either a GPS motion sensor known as a ”black box” or via a mobile phone app and is fed back to the provider using telemetry and satellite technology. Data captured normally will include:

  • Speed
  • Acceleration
  • Cornering.

Did you know?

Younger drivers are twice as likely to make an insurance claim as other drivers, and on average, their claims cost three times more.

Using a variety of algorithms, the telematics provider will translate this feedback into a driver’s score to show how safely the vehicle is being driven. Most will display this to the driver via an online portal or a mobile app. This feedback is fundamental in showing how the vehicle is being driven and gives the driver the opportunity to put right any recurring faults such as regularly exceeding the speed limit.

Telematics policy

All insurers want safe drivers and they police their policies in a number of ways. For example, some providers, as well as providing dashboard feedback, will call drivers who exceed the speed limit and those who excessively exceed the speed limit will have their policy cancelled. Before taking out a telematics policy ensure that you fully understand:

  • How the policy works (read the terms and conditions)
  • The rewards for good driving and the sanctions for bad driving
  • What feedback and coaching advice is provided and how.Research shows that the more often a driver accesses their driving score the less likely they are to be involved in a crash
  • Does the system allow parental access as it is very useful if the parent(s) regularly sees and discusses it with the driver.

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